Thousands of poor children will get snowboards, Barbie dolls, board games or other toys for Christmas this year, thanks to the generosity of the local community. The Christmas Bureau opens today for the final week of operation at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. The charity distributes grocery store vouchers and toys to needy area families.
Donations to the Christmas Fund pay for the toys and food vouchers. The daily tally of $10,320 bumped the fund to $291,638. Six-year-old Carson Valley emptied his piggy bank last week and donated the contents, $35.07, to help buy toys for poor kids.
“We have tried to begin teaching our son how fortunate we are to be able to indulge in luxuries like toys and entertainment, and how there are people in our town who are working hard but not able to afford these things,” wrote Carson’s mother, Cori Valley. “We have plenty. We want our children to know it is a blessing to be able to give to others from that plenty. We weren’t sure if the messages were sinking in, but last Sunday’s newspaper picture of the Christmas Bureau was a perfect opportunity to see.”
She told Carson he would get about 10 presents for Christmas, but there are children whose parents, like those in the picture, can’t afford to buy them even one.
“He said he could fix that and ran to his lockbox of treasures and piggy bank and said the kids can have all his money for presents. I asked if he knew how much money he had and he said maybe a thousand,” Valley continued.
Valley and her husband, Jeff, added $50 to Carson’s $35.07.
“We would like to say thank you to The Spokesman-Review and all the volunteers at the Christmas Bureau for giving us the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to those who are needy at this time of year,” wrote Valley.
Following are additional donations and their donors (online donations are subject to a 3.2 percent PayPal service charge):
The employees and manager of Pacific Steel and Recycling, of Spokane, donated $2,500. “Please accept this check to help with the great effort the Christmas Bureau and its volunteers make during the holiday season. Thank you and Merry Christmas,” wrote Pacific Steel vice president Doug Stewart.
The University High School faculty donated $1,090. “In what has become an annual tradition, the faculty of University High School has dedicated itself to helping those less fortunate during the holiday season. We are proud to show our spirit as Titans and would like to present you with this donation to share with the needy in the Spokane area. We propose a challenge to the faculty of all other area schools to meet or beat our efforts,” wrote the University Titan staff.
Ibex Construction, of Spokane, sent $1,000.
Jim and Salli Sledge, of Spokane, donated $500.
Matt and Shirley Alling, of Spokane, sent $350 and a note: “This year when we asked Shirley’s mom what she wanted for Christmas, she mentioned a couple of small items and said to send the rest to the Christmas Fund. So, we are sending $250 for mom’s gift and $100 for our gift in memory of our dads.”
Mr. and Mrs. Roger Chase, of Spokane, donated $250, as did Judy and Eugene Fitzpatrick, Dennis and Nancy Blossom, The D.J. Irvin Co. and Commodity Brokerage Inc.; Algeo, Clarke & Erickson, Attorneys at Law; and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley.
Frankie, Erin, Giovanni, and Melia Ferraro, of Greenacres, donated $200, as did Robert and Violet Bedford, and Bonnie Nelson, all of Spokane; and Joann Brown, of Spokane Valley.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $200 and a note: “Without you, this wouldn’t or couldn’t happen in any size. Thank you for putting Spokane’s needs first.”
Betty Bos, of Spokane, donated $200 in memory of her husband, Richard.
Don and Marilyn Lippman, of Otis Orchards, donated $100, as did Dale Willis, of Coeur d’Alene, Jay and Birgitta Landreth, of Tum Tum, Wash.; Lester Kile and Theresa Powers –Kile, Dallas and Corrine Dixon, Fae Bowers, Kathleen Strong, Marvin and Helen Soehren, Beth and Leo Becker, Virgil and Madelyn Dedas, Gregory Schuster, Andrew and Leslie Smythe, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane.
Del Ladd, of Spokane, donated $100 “in thanksgiving for all the blessings our family has received this past year.”
Jerry and Mary Anne Littlemore, of Spokane, donated $100, in memory of their son, Jerry Littlemore Jr., and Lester Engstrom. “We hope this will help bring some happiness to some children and their families,” they wrote.
Samuel Kinard donated $96.80 via PayPal.
Carol Lippman, of Otis Orchards, donated $50, as did Verda Coryell, Kenneth and Ruthann Janson, and Rebecca and Spencer Bringhurst, all of Spokane Valley.
M. Marinucci donated $48.25 via PayPal.